Pigeons are mainly pests of commercial buildings where they find nesting areas in roof voids, under air-conditioning systems and make use of high ledges to roost on. They use openings into roof voids through open eaves or holes. They cause considerable mess and odour from droppings which become a health hazard.
Controlling pigeons on the exterior of buildings is the most effective and permanent method. This involves structural modifications which either physically exclude pigeons from the preferred surface or make it difficult for the birds to rest comfortably on the exposed building surfaces. Physical exclusion can be accomplished by installing netting, wire screening, sheet metal, or other materials in a manner that will restrict access to the roosting sites.
Although time-consuming and unpleasant, removing nests will help depress populations. Nest destruction must be followed by pigeon-proofing the structure to achieve maximum population control.
There is only one product registered for control of pigeons. It can only be used by a licensed pest control operator. The product is a narcotic and will allow any non target birds to recover from a non lethal dose.
Pigeons may be live-trapped on and around buildings and other likely locations. Pre-baiting the traps with grains that the birds are accustomed to will increase success. A variety of baits, including wheat, corn, millet, sunflower seeds, bread, and nuts can be used. Water is available in the trap at all times. Trapping in any given area will reduce the number of pigeons quickly and humanely, it is however a labour intensive method requiring many site visits.
Acoustical and visual repellents are other means of reducing pigeon numbers from a given area, but pigeons can become accustomed to these scare devices. These methods include balloons, predator (owl) decoys, and reflective tape in roosting areas. Limited success is achieved by the use of noisemaking devices such as tape-recorded bird distress calls, firing of blank cartridges, and the use of propane-fired cannons in agricultural areas. Combining a number of techniques and frequent changes in the duration and location of the repellent may increase success.
A quick control method to immediately reduce the population. Shooting is done a night and mainly suited to warehouses or enclosed areas where birds are roosting.
Netting is the most efficient and effective method to prevent birds from entering buildings, roof voids, warehouses, eves, courtyards and other exposed enclosures. Netting is manufactured from knotted polyethylene twine, is flame resistant, and very strong. When installed, netting is virtually invisible.
One of the most effective methods for preventing roosting pigeons is the use of a commercially available bird barrier systems consisting of a series of metal prongs or wire spikes that can be attached to a horizontal roosting surface. The needle-like strips of stainless steel act as a prickling fence to exclude birds form landing on a surface.
Lengths of thin stainless steel wire are strung between support posts along ledges and roosting surfaces to prevent pigeons from landing. These very thin wires are nearly invisible from the ground.
A sticky substance applied with a caulking gun where birds roost. Keeps birds off their normal roosting areas because they don’t like the sticky substance on their feet. It is non-toxic, non-lethal bird repellent. Harmless to metal structures, sealed masonry and ornamental metals.